UKTV today announces the launch of three distinct channel brands [Translation: "UKTV has announced that it is renaming some channels."]: Watch (previously UKTV Gold +1), GOLD and Alibi (previously UKTV Drama). All three channels will launch on Tuesday 7 October 2008.
Carrying the cream of contemporary programming [Translation: "Showing lots of repeats"], Watch promises to deliver simply great TV [Translation: "Repeats of popular shows."]. Operating as a linear catch-up service for [Translation: "Repeats of"] modern classics including Torchwood, Mistresses and Larkrise to Candleford, the bold entertainment channel will sit next to GOLD in the pay section of the EPG. The crown in its enviable schedule will be Watch’s brand new commission, the Richard and Judy primetime show, which will air on weekdays. [Translation: "We've sunk all the budget for new programming on one programme"]
Well, as long as the big CGI ball is missing from the on-screen logo, it's not too bad. 7/10
GOLD - Go On Laugh Daily - becomes a dedicated comedy channel with a clear mission: to make people laugh. Offering uplifting and infectious comedy from Only Fools and Horses, Fawlty Towers to the Vicar of Dibley [Translation: "Showing exactly the same programmes as we did when it was UKTV Gold"], GOLD unashamedly celebrates all Britain’s fantastic comedy and guarantees its viewers a well earned giggle [Translation: "We're still only showing the same half-dozen shows, and completely ignoring the hundreds of comedy programmes from the BBC archive that are screaming for another stab at the airwaves. Don't expect to see The Innes Book Of Records, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, KYTV, Rutland Weekend Television or It's Marty any time soon"]. Launching as part of its new look will be two brand new commissions – Blackadder Exclusive: The Whole Rotten Saga and Blackadder’s Most Cunning Moments. [Translation: "We've done a couple of clip shows, because in a way, seeing Fearne Cotton doing an impersonation of Baldrick saying he has a cunning plan in amongst lots of out-of-context clippage is much better than a new comedy programme."]
UKTV Drama will be transformed into Alibi, the World’s Number 1 Detective Agency [Translation: "UKTV Drama will be mostly the same, only we've given half the shows to Watch"]. Dedicated exclusively to the best crime shows [Translation: "or the half-dozen crime shows we've bought the rights to, which didn't leave much budget for anything you might not have seen before"], Alibi promises to bring together the greatest investigative minds from Sherlock Holmes to DCI Taggart to Waking the Dead’s CID team.
A bit dull, but distinctive enough. 6/10
Matthew Littleford, UKTV Controller explains, “The fact we’ve taken the bold decision to re-brand our entire entertainment portfolio [Translation: "We've renamed a few channels because we're incorrectly assuming the reason Dave had become such a big success was because of the stupid name we'd given it. Nothing to do with the fact it was on Freeview for the first time and contained a lot of really good programmes, it's all down to the stupid name and the smug twats swanning about in a mansion on the idents"] in one swoop demonstrates the magnitude of our ambition and our commitment to Pay TV. Watch, GOLD and Alibi are dynamic channel brands [Translation: "I have confused the word dynamic, meaning "characterised by continuous change, activity, or progress" with another word that means "a television channel that always has exactly the same type of programming on it", because I use management buzzwords without bothering to think what they actually mean"] that are clearly identifiable, full of personality and I believe will future-proof our business as we head towards 2012.” [Translation: "as I'd said, I use management buzzwords without bothering to think what they mean."]
Christian Drobnyk, Director of Entertainment, who is leading the editorial strategy adds, “With its innovative marketing and strong schedule [Translation: "thanks to putting some decent programmes on"], Dave became, almost overnight, a top ten channel in multi channel homes; a success that cannot be attributed solely to Freeview as Dave grew by 56% in Pay TV [Translation: "thanks to putting some decent programmes on, unless people really are crazy about those disagreeable spuffwipes monkeying around in a stately home"]. This success can be replicated across the network with Watch, GOLD and Alibi and enables us to exploit the potential of our real estate.” [Translation: "You're selling your house? What's that got to do with anything?"]
Tom Lucas, Director of Marketing and Communications who is leading the re-brand explains, “We’ve undertaken an incredibly ambitious brand overhaul [Translation: "No, you're not. You're renaming some TV channels with prime locations in the EPG. It's hardly going to damage your audience share"] with rigorous analysis of audience needs informing all our changes. Watch addresses the problem of media fragmentation by putting our viewers in the picture and enabling them to catch up on modern TV classics.” [Translation: "we'll be running some adverts for it"] He continues, “Meanwhile GOLD is a perfectly timed antidote to credit crunch Britain. As we face bleak news story after bleak news story, Go On Laugh Daily gives us all permission to seek escape in great comedy and enjoy a belly laugh or two.” [Translation: "If you're considering cancelling Sky so you can pay your council tax, here's a repeat of Little Britain which will make you change your mind."]
Editor's note: At this point, we'd hoped to have some sort of box-out detailing the UKTV press release fluff for the respective rebrandings of UK Gold, UK Play and UK Arena, only to be thwarted by the lackadaisical mess that is their press archive. We went to the trouble of registering for it, only to find it doesn't show up properly in Firefox, there's no search function, no dates on any of the 'news' items, and "Julian Clary's Britcom Weekend" is misspelled as "Julian Clary's Bricom Weekend" FOUR times in a row, presumably because whoever typed it in let the spell checker correct the word 'Britcom'.
'Bricom' is an acronym for the 'Biblical Research Institute Committee', of course. Look, it's either close with that sentence or show you the woeful station ident for the relaunched 'Gold'. Really? You want to see it? On your own heads be it.
Bloody hell, our eyes. Have they let a six-year-old loose on the WordArt function on MicroSoft Word 97 or something?. 2/10